Selecting the Right Criminal Justice School near Verona New Jersey
So you have decided to earn a criminal justice degree near Verona New Jersey. But after you have decided on the type of degree you would like to work toward, just how do you undertake picking a college that will provide the proper training to help you realize your career objectives? Of course the institution you choose must offer the criminal justice degree and major that you are interested in. And you will probably begin by looking for schools that are close to your residence and comparing the tuition for each college. But there are other factors that you should investigate prior to making your ultimate choice. For instance, the accreditation and reputation of the college are critical factors also. And if you are interested in attending classes sitting at your computer rather than sitting in a classroom, then locating a reputable online training program will also be a part of your due diligence process. We will cover these and other qualifications that you might wish to include in your vetting process when choosing the right criminal justice college for you. But first, let’s talk a little bit about the criminal justice majors and degrees offered along with the benefits of attending online schools.
Criminal Justice Degrees near Verona NJ
Similar to many other professions, degrees in criminal justice are becoming more frequently needed for various careers in the field. And as the level of education and degree obtained advances, so increases the employment opportunities available in Verona NJ. There are 4 degree levels offered, starting with the Associate Degree in criminal justice. Generally a two year degree, it provides an overview of such specialties as corrections, law enforcement and the judicial court system. An increasing number of police departments are seeking candidates with no less than an Associate Degree. The four year Bachelor’s Degree usually includes the same topics as the Associate Degree, just more extensively. The more comprehensive education creates more opportunities for such occupations as FBI agents, intelligence analysts or probation officers. Advancing to a Master’s Degree can involve an additional 2 years of classes after obtaining the Bachelor’s Degree. The Master’s Degree allows students to become experts in a particular area of criminal justice. Along with the opportunities afforded with the lower degrees, graduates may also become instructors, court officers or social caseworkers. And finally, for individuals interested in research or teaching at the college level, the PhD or Doctoral Degree is available also. Typically requiring anywhere from 4 to 7 years to complete, it is a far more rigorous version of the Master’s program. Needless to say the time requirements for attaining any of the 4 degrees will be dependent on the credit load carried by the student.
Criminal Justice Majors
There are many specializations to select from when considering which major to elect for your criminal justice degree. Maybe CSI has always interested you after enjoying countless episodes of the different crime scene investigation TV shows. Or quite possibly you have always wanted to be a law enforcement officer, or even an FBI agent. Whatever your career objective, you must choose a major and a degree in criminal justice that will prepare and qualify you for that job. Choosing a program and a school that specializes in that specialty would obviously be the best option toward that end. Maybe you have not yet decided on a specialty or a career focus yet. In that case, it would be a good idea to investigate all of the degree options available from the various colleges and universities. Below is a partial list of criminal justice degree majors offered in the Verona NJ area:
- Law enforcement
- Homeland security
- Forensic science
- Social Work
- Crime scene investigation
- Pre-law Studies
- Police science
Prior to enrolling in the college you have selected, investigate the degree program you have an interest in along with the college. Just because a criminal justice school is accredited and has an excellent reputation as a whole does not indicate that all of its specialty programs are similarly highly respected. That’s why it is extremely important to decide on a major first before selecting a college to enroll in.
Criminal Justice Degree Programs Online
Some students might not have access to a criminal justice degree program in their vicinity, or they might just want the flexibility of earning a degree online. In either case, they will discover that there are accredited online options available. There many schools domiciled within the United States that provide degree programs online similar to the ones offered on-campus. And for a number of Verona NJ students, particularly those who continue working part or full-time while earning their degree, the convenience and accessibility of online colleges may make them the sole option. And as an added benefit, online colleges are often lower in cost than on campus alternatives. Tuition may be cheaper and expenses for such things as study materials and commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain, just like for any school you are reviewing, that the program you choose is accredited by an acknowledged organization, such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (more on accreditation later). But if you are dedicated, and can learn in this type of unsupervised setting, then earning your degree online might be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Criminal Justice Schools
By now you have no doubt come to a decision on a criminal justice degree program and a major, as well as if you intend to earn your degree online or by going to classes on campus. Having made those decisions, it’s time to begin searching for Verona NJ area schools and narrowing down your options. Considering that there are a large number of colleges to pick from, in fact hundreds within the USA alone, it’s important to have a list of qualifying questions to utilize when reviewing schools. Naturally cost is an important factor and you will need to select a program that fits within your scholastic budget. And we have already mentioned a few others as well, including location, accreditation and reputation. To help you focus on those concerns and more, following is a list of questions you may want to ask the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Criminal Justice Degree Program Accredited? Many criminal justice schools have received one or more accreditations from regional or national agencies. Among the most respected is the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS). Schools and programs that have been accredited by the ACJS have undergone an extensive screening of their course of instruction and teachers. It’s important to make sure that the degree program and college you pick are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency for several reasons. Along with helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it will also aid in acquiring financial assistance or student loans, which are often not obtainable for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Verona NJ employers prefer graduates of colleges that are accredited with excellent reputations.
What is the Program’s Reputation? As stated previously, in conjunction with accreditation the reputation of the college you select is important as well. It’s especially critical if you are entering the profession with no relevant prior employment history. With no prior experience, Verona NJ employers will be weighing the quality of your education as a primary factor when reviewing your resume. There are several school rating organizations where you can find college rankings and reviews, such as U.S. News and World Report. They look at the quality of the core curriculum, the reputation of the teachers and other elements contributing to the educational programs. Keep in mind that a school with an overall less than outstanding reputation might still be well respected for a particular degree program that you may have an interest in.
What are the Job Placement Rates? Ask what the graduation rates are for the Verona NJ colleges you are considering. A low rate may be a sign that students were disappointed with the program and quit, or that the instructors were not capable of teaching the curriculum. It’s also important that the colleges have job placement programs with high placement rates. A job assistance program will help you get that first crucial job after graduation that denotes the start of your career in criminal justice. A higher placement rate will not only help confirm that the college has an excellent reputation within the industry, but that it also has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain jobs after graduation.
Where are the Colleges Located? As we discussed at the beginning of this article, among the initial things you will most likely consider when looking for criminal justice degree programs is the location of the schools. Unless you have determined that you will relocate or perhaps board on campus, the school you choose will have to be within commuting distance of your Verona NJ home. Naturally attending online classes will remove the necessity for travel and make location a non-issue. Something to keep in mind is that if you opt to go to a school not in your resident state, you may be required to pay a higher tuition than resident students, especially for state universities and colleges. Community and junior colleges also often charge students higher fees if their residence is outside of the state or school district.
How Large are the Classrooms? Unless you like to disappear in the crowd, attending small classes provides the option for more interaction with the teachers. Bigger classes provide little chance of receiving one-on-one instruction if needed. One means to evaluate the interaction between faculty and students is to sit in on a couple of classes before making your ultimate determination. Talk to several of the students and find out what they have experienced. Also, speak with the instructors and ask them what their teaching approaches are. You might also want to inquire as to what their backgrounds have been in the New Jersey criminal justice field.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it’s critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Verona NJ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enrolling in a Criminal Justice School near Verona NJ?
If you are considering attending a criminal justice college near Verona NJ, following is some interesting and useful background information about the Verona area where your school campus will be located.
Verona, New Jersey
Verona is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 13,332 reflecting a decline of 201 (-1.5%) from the 13,533 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 64 (-0.5%) from the 13,597 counted in the 1990 Census.
Verona and several neighboring towns were all originally one town known as the Horseneck Tract. In 1702, a group of settlers left Newark and purchased a large tract of land northwest of their home city for the equivalent of a few hundred dollars from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. This piece of land extended west and north to the Passaic River, south to the town center of what would become Livingston, and east to the First Watchung Mountain, and was called Horseneck by the natives because it resembled the neck and head of a horse. What was then known as Horseneck contained most of the present day northern Essex County towns: Verona, along with Caldwell, West Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell, and Roseland are all located entirely in Horseneck, and parts of what are today Livingston, Montclair, and West Orange also were contained in the Horseneck Tract.
After the Revolutionary War, the area of Horseneck was incorporated as "Caldwell Township" in honor of local war hero James Caldwell, a pastor who used pages from his church's bibles as wadding to ignite the ammo in soldiers' cannons and helped to drive the British out of Horseneck.
Select the Best Criminal Justice School near Verona NJ
Making certain that you select the ideal criminal justice college near Verona NJ is essential to your obtaining the appropriate training to be successful in this exciting and growing profession. Employers respect which college your criminal justice degree came from, so it’s to your benefit to care as well. Achieving the greatest potential success in your criminal justice career starts with choosing the ideal criminal justice college based on your career objectives. As we have addressed in this article, it’s important that the school and degree program you decide on both have excellent reputations and are accredited. Additionally, make sure that the college has a job assistance program with a strong track record for placing its students. You originally came to this site due to an interest in Best Criminal Justice Programs. However, by using our checklist of questions, you will have the ability to assess and compare the criminal justice colleges you are considering so that you can narrow down your choices and make the best choice. And when you have made the ideal decision, you will get the appropriate training so that you can launch your successful career in criminal justice.
Check Out More Law Abiding Locations in New Jersey